Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Sometimes, Frozen Food is Your Friend
During the week, it's really difficult to put together a well-balanced, and healthy meal in a short amount of time. Those drive-thrus can look pretty tempting...but the secret to an easy weeknight meal is to take a little help from the grocery store. And here's the tip: *quality frozen foods are frozen at the peak of their ripeness, just waiting for you whenever you're ready!* So go ahead and use that bag of frozen organic corn. Because it sure is a lot easier than shucking, boiling, and cutting corn on the cob.
Here's an easy, delicious weeknight meal that mixes fresh and frozen foods. I take frozen shrimp (the fish in the supermarket in upstate is almost always frozen on the boat before being shipped to the stores anyway, so don't feel bad about using frozen shrimp), frozen peas, and fresh fennel (a delicious, if not strange looking, vegetable that is in season in the winter) and braise them in crushed tomato to make this flavorful dish.
Shrimp with Fennel and Peas
1 bag frozen shrimp
2 heads fennel (discard the dark stems and peel back the harder outer layers), sliced thing
1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, grated (or minced)
1 tsp. dried basil
1/2 c. frozen peas
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
a handful of olives (if you like a salty bite, which I do, try kalamata olives)
Begin by thawing the shrimp in the sink by running cool water over it until frozen. If they come with shells, discard the shells after they have been thawed. Put 2 Tbsp. olive oil in a pan over medium heat and grate the garlic into the pan. Top with the fennel and season with salt & pepper. Stir the mixture and cook for about 3 minutes until the fennel begins to soften. Add the can of crushed tomatoes, basil, pepper flakes, and olives to the pan. Let this simmer with a lid on for about 7 minutes. Remove the lid and add the shrimp, peas, olives, and vinegar. Cook until shrimp is pink, about 3 minutes. Serve with a crusty bread (we did a sourdough boule) to mop up all the savory juices!